Category Archives: beans

Chutney Chickpeas (and TEDDIE!)

I finally got the chance to play with my favorite little furry four-legged today!

…just a shame Vermont can’t plow roads this winter. I could have made it there much faster? Even in this picture you can see where someone started swerving!

With all the fashion blogs out there today, I thought I’d join in on the trend. Here I am modeling my gloriously fab boots, snow-pant breeches and Carhartt knock-off.

This is why I’m hot.

Naturally, being so bundled up didn’t make for optimum riding gear. So why not just hop on bareback (er…blanket-back…) and go for a snow ride?

That was Teddie’s thought as he took great joy in making me get an additional workout trying to climb atop him.

He may be short, but damn, when you’re wearing bulky clothing, you’re sinking up to your butt in snow, and you have an excited pony walking in circles around you because he wants to visit with everyone, it’s a lot easier to say “hop on” than it is to actually hop on.

When I finally got halfway on he was at least patient enough to stand still while I made like a seal as I flopped the rest of myself up and over.

We had fun. Maybe we’ll just become snow riders for the rest of the winter. Or pick up skijoring.

And in case you thought I was too hot to handle before, it got even better when I put my helmet on:

I realize I look like dorkus maximus, but look at Ted!

daaaaaaaamn! Oughta have put a warning sign on this blog.

See all that snow on his bridle? He took great pride in trudging along with his nose buried in the snow while I thought he was going to roll on me. Luckily, the only time I had to bail was when I accidentally steered him into a drift that was up to his belly. It was probably deeper than that, but his belly kept him from sinking further, luckily.

Sorry, Ted.

Oh,yeah…anyways. About that food thing.

Truth be told, when it came to dinner tonight, I almost just sauteed up some spinach, garlic and barbecue sauce with barbecue tempeh and called it a night. And if I didn’t have to work tomorrow, I totally would have.

Sauteeing spinach in olive oil with garlic and BBQ sauce is way better than it sounds, fyi.

But, I kind of like making enough dinner the night before working to be able to pack an easy lunch to bring the next day. Sauteed spinach wasn’t going to cut it.

Especially sauteed in garlic. I can still smell my breath from having it for lunch, and that was 5 snacks and a dinner ago.

I might as well just dedicate this post to Rachael Ray, what with using her bench scrape, knife and recipe.

They were Christmas presents! (…but I still love Rachael Ray.)

I’ve made this “Chutney Chicken One Pot” and posted about it before – well, raved about it before – but just linked to the recipe with all of my swaps written separately.

Well, usually I don’t break my “link-back” rule, but since this is one of my favorite meals (I’ve gotta go there) and I’ve made some substitutions over the couple times I’ve made it, I’m just going to go ahead and post how I make it.

Chutney Chickpea One-Pot

serves 2 as a side, adapted from Rachael Ray’s Chutney Chicken One-Pot

This dish is easily customizable to your likes and dislikes. Check out my notes after the recipe! Not only that, but once you’ve got everything chopped it comes together in a handful of minutes! And I know I just talked about a fear of long ingredients lists – and this one is…but it’s SO easy and you’ve probably got it all on hand.

  • 2 t. olive oil
  • 1 granny smith apple, peeled and diced
  • 1 small yellow onion, chopped
  • 1/4 c. diced celery
  • 1/4 c. diced green or red peppers
  • 1/4 c. diced dried apricots
  • 2-3 dried Turkish figs, chopped
  • 1 c. chickpeas
  • 1/2 t. ground cumin
  • 1/8 t. curry powder
  • 1/2 t. allspice
  • 1/8 t. ground ginger
  • 1/4 t. ground cinnamon
  • 1 T. apple cider vinegar
  • 1 T. dijon or whole-grain mustard
  • 2 1/2 T. unsweetened applesauce
  • 1/2 c. vegetable broth
  • 2-3 handfuls baby spinach

Heat the oil in a nonstick pan over medium heat. Add in the apple, onion, celery and peppers. Saute until slightly soft. Add in the spices, dried fruit and chickpeas. Stir and then add in the broth, applesauce, vinegar and mustard. Reduce heat and bring to a simmer. Simmer about five minutes, until sauce thickens slightly. Add in the spinach, stir and cover. Remove from heat, leaving covered until spinach wilts.

Serve with some crusty bread or a grain!

Last time, I made it with tofu instead of chickpeas, and mixed in cooked bulgur instead of serving it with bread. There were other differences, but I also didn’t add the spinach. I much prefer it with spinach! I also think I preferred it with bread instead of a grain.

I love dishes that mix a sweet element with savory, and this one hits the nail on the head. Change it to your tastebuds, though. I chose to use applesauce instead of jam because I figured jam would be pushing the envelope on too sweet. You can also easily use a bit less dried fruit, and use what dried fruit you have on hand. I love apricots and figs, but raisins are good, too!

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Filed under apple, beans, bread, chickpeas, cooking, equestrian, food, healthy cooking, healthy living, horseback riding, pony, recipe, snow, teddie, vegan, vegetable, vegetarian, veggies, vermont

Three-Sixty

Oh heyyyyyyy, there, babehluhvs! I’m back in full swing more than ever 🙂 No more bleh-ness allowed, but thanks for letting me get it out of my system! haha.

I felt fine other than my funky mood last night, and was a leetle worried when I woke up that today’s weather was going to impede my mood even more. While I love sleeping to the soothing sound of rain on the roof, doesn’t it make waking up so difficult?! If I didn’t have a midterm to fail successfully complete, I’m not so sure I would have rolled out of bed for my 9:30 class.

Pumpkin-Nanne Oats: Traditional, Simple, and Comforting - they fit the bill for a mellow morning!

Usually just the thought of breakfast motivates me out of bed – but this morning I was so cozy in my big puffy down comforter, my Mouse-man sleeping by my feet, the sounds of the pitter-patter rain drops, and the lack of daylight peaking through my window that I could hardly decide on how I wanted my oats! I just knew they had to utilize pumpkin.

I was infatuated with this color palette. Isn't it so warm and soothing?

Old Faithful also incorporated a new guest. Remember my giant Bob’s order weeks ago? Well I’ve been working with the Barley and the Spelt only – and now that I’m 3/4s of the way through those bags, I figured it’d be best to introduce a new cereal.

Bob's Red Mill 5 Grain Rolled Cereal + Flaxseed: rolled whole wheat, rye, oats, flaxseed, barley, and triticale.

Nothing too out of the ordinary, but being the graniac I am, I was excited to break into a new cereal.

The base for the morning was:

-equal parts oat bran and Bob’s 5 grain Rolled Hot Cereal, 1 T. wheat bran

almondmilk and brewed coffee

handful of trail power, approx. 1/2 T. chia seeds, golden raisins

pumpkin puree and half a sliced ripe banana

nutmeg, cinnamon, ground clove, and a light drizzle of maple syrup

Topped with:

-pumpkin chia icing (I forgot the acai powder)

-milled golden flax

-golden raisins, crystallized ginger, PB&Co Cinnamon Raisin PB

-a couple of Yogi Cinnamon Raisin granola crisps

-and a sauteed mixture of half a diced banana, spoonful of pumpkin, drizzle of maple syrup, and almondmilk.

And a side of Green Mountain Rain Forest Nut.

In case you couldn’t tell – I just couldn’t get over how cozy these warm tones made me feel!

I loved the new cereal combo! They got nice and fluffy and had a nice chewy texture. Much like regular oats, really – but better! Loving the 5 grams of protein, and that it’s got flaxseed. I love you, Bob…

Eventually, I got ready for class. This involved a drastic mood change, which involved doing the Ellen dance around my kitchen to Justin Timberlake’s new song. I am not a mainstream music fan but had Fuse on to get into the groove. Why did JT all of a sudden make me feel overjoyed enough to do the Ellen dance while Kaia watched me, perplexed? I’m not sure, but I’m glad it happened. Everyone should do the Ellen dance around their kitchen every so often. I won’t say it should be to JT though, because that probably won’t happen again.

Unfortunately, I don’t think this helped me to pass my midterm any better, but it may have been the reason behind my ridiculously amazing (not to sound conceited or anything) chickpea patties. Although – I’m not so sure patties is the correct term, since I think they’re better without bread. I dunno.

After getting home – I made up a snack.

I thought I wanted cold. Yogi Crisps, mango, greek yog w/ agave & chai spice.

…but then I had a change of heart. I needed warm. Hmmm…

The remedy? Add some almond milk, some instant oats, and nuke 'er!

mmm….that’s moe’ bettah’.

I'm just a lagging Larry - slow to jump on the Agave train.

So, I realize Agave is widely known, yaddah yaddah. Well, I just bought it Saturday for my first time, and tried it today! I always have just used honey for sweetness, or maple syrup. I was too cheap to buy good maple syrup the other day, and have been meaning to try Agave anyways. I always thought it was way more similar to honey than it is. I love it! New addict.

You've all probably seen this before. Hey, I love product labels!

I did, however, take a while waffling between amber and light agave. Which do you use?! Is there a big difference?

After this, I of course set to work on my patties.

These patties were brainstormed last night, that’s how ready I was. If you want to know my thought process, I’ll tell you, because it’s funny how my mind works. Since you probably don’t care because I tend to ramble, I’m not offended and picture yums will continue soon!

These were supposed to be pumpkin-black bean burgers. That, however, got me thinking of the Cook’s Mission and what I was going to do. Hey – black bean apricot burgers? with pumpkin? Maybe? Hmmm. Or chickpea. I was pretty adamant about the pumpkin though, so you better believe I waffled all night and all through my midterm. I’m not joking. I probably failed my midterm because of apricots, pumpkins, and beans. What can I say? I should just be going to culinary school. Regardless – Chickpeas randomly came into play and amazingness ensued. But – how did they fair with a real taste tester, you ask?

I made sure my mom tried one as soon as she walked in the door! Luckily, she’s a willing tester, even though she’s far from a health foodie. She’s ms. “I hate the taste of whole grains and can eat all day without gaining a pound.” Love her. But – she does like chickpeas, and she did love these patties! Score. She couldn’t quite put her finger on the flavor that was in there, but after I told her it made sense and she went about enjoying it. If she didn’t like it – she would have given it to me. Won one over!

Even though it looks like that’s what I had for lunch, by the time I finished them it was only noon-thirty and after having eaten my fair share *la hem* taste testing the chickpea mixture prior to baking, I was not hungry, so I just ate the portions that got coated with the sauce. So really, by day just consisted of a bunch of really good snacks/small meals. Hey, maybe I’m not the picture of perfect eating lately, but oh well.

If these aren't the cutest things you've ever seen, I want to know what is.

what does one do when they’ve only got sandwich and bagel thins, wraps, pitas, and minature but delicious homamade english muffins and an egg sandwich is being called for?

Why, make mini egg mcmuffins, of course! Sure – these muffins were made more tiny than tiny. But you know what? I swear they taste better by the day. I think the nuttiness of Spelt gets moreso over time – I noticed the same thing with my spelt-crust calzone! Love. It. This is a new favorite snack as of late, though – so it’s almost like the miniature size was an unconcsious intentional mistake 🙂

Microwaved egg w/ garlic salt & peppah, almond cheese, hummus, and a toasted whole wheat-spelt muffin w/ some olivio. To die.

What's this - oat bowl number fifty, or fifty six?

I have a confession. Actually – based on this picture – I have a couple.

1. I am a Yogi granola crisps addict. These things are to die for. If you find them – get them. Or, if you’re concerned you’ll become addict, don’t. Instead, get every package in sight. Most likely because you will be addicted before you know it.

2. I tend to freeze baked goods and forget about them – even when they taste like a little piece of heaven. Whassat, a AB&J Bran muffin? uhhh, yeahsa. Hey – I do it intentionally…they make for good surprises! And, this tasted just like it did the day it was so lovingly baked.

3. I’ve also noticed an intense cinnamon-raisin craze over the course of today’s eats. What can I say?!

Dinnah-time.

Obviously, chickpea patties were on the menu for dinner. I couldn’t decide on how to serve them – on bread? No…plain. But with what?  And then I got the mail:

Dear Jess,

When have I ever failed you?

Love, Broccoli.

Broccoli. And I could saute it with some mango, and add in the flavors already incorporated into the patties & sauce. So – I did! Broc, mango, drizzle balsamic, lemon pepper, salt, garam masala, nutmeg, drizzle EVOO, drizzle honey mustard. Ooooh, this was good.

And dessert followed shortly after.

Pumpkin Yogurt - Galaxy Granola - Granola Crisps - Cottage Cheese - Agave - Raisins.

And obviously, there was cinnamon in there, too. The pumpkin yogurt was a stellar combo of pumpkin, yog, some chia seeds, almond milk, some acai powder, and agave, seasoned with cinn & nutmeg.

Oh, and honey apple buttah!

And that’s ’til now! Obviously, I didn’t have class tonight. It was quite nice to have a lazy day – I admit I was completely useless today, but when the weather is like this, it feels kinda nice! Do you like to enjoy a lazy day every so often, or do you feel “guilty” when you do? I used to feel guilty (and started getting really antsy by the time 3:30 rolled around! Luckily – it was nice neough to go outside and play with the ponies for a little while)

I’m also in the process of ordering more chia seeds but feel this could be quite dangerous. Should we place bets on how much I actually order compared to what I intend to order? Sometimes health food suppliers are just too much fun!

I hope everyone has a great night! Catch ya lataaa.

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Filed under all natural, almond milk, beans, breakfast, broccoli, chia seeds, cooking, dinner, food blog, foodblog, greek yogurt, health, health blog, health food, healthy eating, healthy living, lunch, nut butter, oatmeal, oats, pumpkin, recipe, snack, vegetarian, whole grains

Cook’s Mission, Week 1: Apricots and Pretzels

Looks can be deceiving.

Holy wow. I don’t think I’ve ever been this excited to post a recipe before. I’m not even kidding. Possibly because all of my other recipes are sever alterations of others – and this time, it’s all me. At least I hope so, I’ll be really disappointed if someone links me to a recipe for Chickpea Patties with Apricots. I could come up with a much longer title, like Garam-Masala Chickpea Patties with Apricots, Pretzels, and a dang good Mango-Basil Tzatziki Sauce to Boot, but I won’t.

Now you’re really scratching your heads. But, I’ll let the photos and recipe do the talking for now, and I’ll get back to the blabbing for the wrap-up.

Cook’s Mission, Week #1

The Mystery Basket ingredients for the week of March 20-27 are…

Apricots and Pretzels! You may use any variation of each ingredient (ie hard pretzels, soft pretzels, gluten free pretzels, fresh apricots, dried apricots, etc.). You must include both ingredients in your recipe!

Chickpea Patties with Apricots

You will need:

1 1/4 cup chickpeas (almost a whole can- I had an unfortunate draining accident)

7- 14 Everything-Flavored Pretzel Crisps

3-4 organic dried apricots

scant 1/4 t. garam masala

1/8 t. nutmeg

1/8 t. ground ginger

pinch lemon pepper

pinch black pepper

1/8 t. cinnamon

pinch sea salt

drizzle olive oil

1/2 T. almondmilk

1/2 T. egg beaters

scant 1/8 t. baking powder

Destructing in, 5…4…3…

1. Lightly drain your chickpeas – don’t get rid of all the oil/juice – some is fine, and adds to the moistness needed later on. Place them all in a food processor (it works best if you have a sub-par one, so it doesn’t get too mushy, hah.) and process until mostly mashed, but not completely.

perfect.

Once completed – transfer to a mixing bowl (or tupperware, if you’re like me) and set aside. Clean the processor.

2. Open up pretzel crisps bag, and enjoy a few because they’re that good.

But, eventually get back to work by placing about 7 crisps in your food processor and ground until mostly fine. This should give you a scant 1/4 cup’s worth of crumbs.

This was as fine as my processor let me get them. It worked fine - and I think better than completely ground, actually.

I usually think it’s ridiculous when people say you need a certain brand of something for a recipe – but after this recipe, I can understand why. If you can’t find this brand, at the very least find some sort of everything pretzel, with poppyseeds, sesame seeds,caraway, salt, onion, etc. Otherwise, the flavor will be totally different, I can only imagine.

3. Transfer the crumbs to the bowl with the chickpeas, and add in your spices: garam masala, nutmeg, lemon & black peppers, cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg, and salt.

4. Process or finely chop your apricots.

I have found a huge difference between organic and non-organic apricots. The organic ones are so much more flavorful and moist and tender, and I highly recommend using those if at all possible.

Once done – add to the chickpea mixture. Try to break them up as best you can – they’ll want to stick together.

5. Mix everything together very well. Drizzle in some olive oil (I have a pump-sprayer olive oil, and just used a couple pumps…probably not even 1/2 tablespoon. If you use more, though – they’ll probably just end up more moist!) and add in your milk and egg beaters, as well as the baking powder.

mix, mix mix!

Make sure the apricots get evenly dispersed. They may want to stick in one lump!

6. Form into patties and place in a sprayed dish. Preheat your oven to 400* before you start forming them, and if you’re slow like me, it should e ready just as you’re done 😛

Form them carefully – as in, pack them pretty firmly. You don’t want them breaking apart while they bake. I also ground up some more pretzel crumbs to “bread” a couple of them.

Place in the oven and bake for approximately 15 minutes. Meanwhile, prep for your tzatsiki (…esque) sauce.

For that, you will need:

-1/3 cup plain greek yogurt

1 big basil leaf (I actually used 2 – I’d recommend one)

1/4 c. chopped mango (or fresh apricot – I oculdn’t find any!)

-1/4 t. lemon juice

-1/2 t. honey mustard

-dash salt and lemon pepper

1/8 t. garam masala

Place first three ingredients in processor, and combine until smooth. …ish.

Transfer to a small tupperware (you’re not likely to use it all at once!) and mix in remaining ingredients. Adjust to suit your tastes. Refrigerate until ready to use. Tastes best chilled!

By now, it should be about time to flip your patties. They’ll be sort of cracked on the top. Carefully flip, and place back in oven for another 5-10 minutes. They won’t really change color or anything – but, uh…they’re…done when you want them to be?

lame presentation. delicious food.

Plate up a couple (or them all) and serve with the Tzatziki. and whatever else you want, but you’re best off just filling up on these puppies.

It’s such a great combination of flavors, I think. Nothing really jumps out at you like “Hey, I’m nutmeg and apricot, but I’m in your chicpea patty.” It actually provides you with a wonderfully pleasant aftertaste, almost – but it blends beautifully with the sweet of the apricot, and mild, nutty chickpea taste.

Don't be scared.

Definitely give them a try! You may be pleasantly surprised 🙂

I wasn’t super satisfied with how the sauce turned out, I will say that. It’s not bad, by any means, and paired quite nicely with the patties. But it needs something. Or maybe just not as much basil as I used? I would have loved being able to use a fresh apricot rather than mango, and almost used some apricot-mango jam I have in the cupboard, but just decided fresh mango would be better. The honey mustard does give it a little something extra, though – don’t leave that out!

The ones I breaded with the crushed pretzels definitely came out more “fun,” by the way. And you  may want to add a touch more milk. I was seriously winging it (though the hardest part was forcing myself to measure so I could form a complete recipe!) and though they’re not dry by any stretch of the word, they are pretty delicate. And I’m not sure if baking powder did anything, but I remember using it last time I made falafel, so I erred on the side of caution, haha.

But anyways – go play the Cook’s Mission! I mean, the hardest part of using apricots and pretzels was not eating them all plain! It’s love. I’m glad I held out, though – I never would have thrown this together, otherwise! (question: does this make me look crazy?)

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Filed under beans, cooking, dinner, foodblog, health, health food, healthy living, lunch, recipe

andifeelfine

…anybody? …anybody?

I hope everyone else’s day has been as splendid as mine. I just can’t get over this beautiful weather! I have been in a nonstop amazing mood since this morning.

I thought I woke up wicked late – it was so light out and I had that groggy “slept-in” feeling – but it was really only 6:30! I caught up on some blogs before strolling out to the kitchen and makin’ up a repeat of the other day. Sorry!

carrot-cake oats

Because I am having an affair with carrot-cake oats, and they will never grow old.

In the mix was oat bran, rolled barley flakes, and wheat bran, brewed coffee & almondmilk, goji berries, 3/4 carrot – grated, cinnamon, nutmeg, ground clove, ginger, vanilla, and a couple slices of ripe nanner.

On the top was chia-acai icing, dates, crystallized ginger, ground flax, Justin’s Maple Almond Butter, drizzle coconut butter, strawberry-pom jam, and the rest of the carrot, sauteed with raisins, maple syrup, and coconut.

I almost threw in the kitchen sink, but couldn’t quite get it loose. Oh well, maybe next time 😉 I’ve been thinking it’s rather comical that I load up my breakfasts so much that you can’t even see the oatbran and whatever other grain I’m using! Haha…it’s under there. Somewhere 🙂

I flipped through some magazines while enjoying this beaut, and then cleaned up, spiffed myself up, did a mini photo shoot because I was really bubbly and haven’t held my baby in a while

and then set sail for tax-free shopping. Woo-hoo! I decided I’d take you guys with me today, too! You’ll probably be sick of my face by the end of this post. I apologize. But I’d been thinking about how it probably seems like I’m not even a real person behind this computer because I never show my face. This is primarily because it’s tricky to take a picture of yourself when you’re using a camera with a fixed, manual focus lens. And you’re too lazy to switch it, like moi.  But I love seeing all of your beautiful faces, so hopefully you don’t think I’m a robot anymore 🙂

Wild Mtn. Blueberry & Vanilla latte. Copco spokesperson.

You’ll probably be sick of my bony, dry, old lady hands by the end of this, too. Oh well. I tend to wait until it’s too late to fix those sorts of things.

AB&J muffin with Justin's Maple AB

Yeah, I’ve still got these muffins and scones, haha. I freeze them right away, and tend to forget. That and I have a large variety of carbs to choose from daily, and unfortuately, out of sight out of mind tends to have a strong affect on me. Sometimes it’s good – sometime’s it’s depressing. Like when there’s a freezerful of these and these.

I stopped at the discount foods store first, and there may or may not be any more boxes of Sugar Cookie tea left in the state of Vermont. I may or may not know who should be held accountable for this. Jus’ sayinnn.’

When I’d reached my final desired location, it was time for a refuel before a shopping spree.

I'm supposed to look sad because of the ugly nanner... I'm not sure I was successful.

The rest of my nanner from breakfast, and the plaza in the background. Okay, you only see Dicks. Pretend that’s BB&B and Hannaford.

I was strangely conservative in BB&B, but I am not complaining. I think it’s just because I wanted everything – so I just stuck to what I went there with the intentions of getting – which you’ll see soon enough! They do have so many cool gadgets, and I really wanted to get a bunch of kitchen organizational stuff, but refrained. It’s a lot more expensive there, I could probs go to wally world or something.

Afterwards, I hit up Hannafords for a couple goodies and ran into some old friends. This was weird because I never run into people and I thought they were out west somewhere. So it was a pleasant surprise!

As a side note, I love shopping when you’re in a really good mood – I like being the pleasant customer. Is that weird? I know when I wait on people at work, I love when a happy cheery person comes in. I’m not annoyingly happy, I’m just polite. I think. I hope. You all must think I’ve been sneaking some sort of happy pills lately. aha. Yeah – it’s called sun and spring air!

Afterwards, I hit up the co-op! Again, I was surprisingly well-behaved. I think I have this “go big or go home” slogan. I knew what I went in for, so I tried to stay just to those aisles, haha. I just wanted to get some more almondmilk, and see what they had already packaged for dried fruits and nuts. I was successful 🙂

But all that shopping made me work up an appetite!

Sick of me yet? That's okay - this is the last one 🙂

And all I wanted was a big, crispy, juicy, apple! I still had to stop and clean the office on my way home, though, and wasn’t sure it’d tide me but wanted it anyways. For some reason, apples make me really full at first, and then really hungry. I guess it makes sense in a weird way – the fiber making you feel full initially, but then your body realizes it wasn’t that much food? maybe? Anyways, after my cleaning expedition decided it was time for another snack. I planned to stop some places to take some funky photos on the way home, too. Can’t do that hungry, you know 🙂

Other than the mis-spelling of "sesame," can you really argue with those ingredients?

Okay, maybe you’ll argue with the butter – but hey, at least it’s a real food. No complaints over hurr!

Yum. They’re really dense, so I had a little less than half, since I was going to be home in an hour or so for lunch anyways. But I had forgotten how good these are! I can’t wait for one of you luckies to win some – I hope you find them as good as I do! I may be doing another giveaway with them soon, too.

I stopped some fun places on the way home to snap some photos, but haven’t finished sorting through them all yet. Sneak peek? Oh, okay.

After unpacking everything and gettin’ in my cozy pants, all I wanted for lunch was a fried egg sandwich on a chewy english muffin with hummus. Weird lunchtime craving for me, but I followed it.

I must have really wanted some sodium and carbs, because I wasn’t even into the carrots…and I’m always into raw, crunchy, yummy carrots! So, fried egg and english muffin it was. With some hummus, spinach, parmesan, sundried tomatoes, half a dill pickle, and some dijonnaise. Hit. The. Spot. I’m usually all about fresh veggies and letting them sing with minimal bread-age, but I just loved crunching into the english muffin and the crispy & salty fried egg, complimented by the oozy cheese and creamy hummus. Yum!

But of course dessert was in order, too.

You’ll be seeing this often. Puffins, granola, honey apple buttah, almond milk, and the star of this one was some sliced dried turkish fig! The figs keep getting forgotten about in the back of my fridge. A shame, because I love figs as much as I love dates – and you all know how much I love dates 🙂

overstock (dot com, that is!)

Apparently, my mom had the same thoughts I did while she was out. I may or may not have had one or two throughout the course of the day.

is that...is that...a FOOD PROCESSOR?!

oh, yes. It’s actually a Ninja processor. Apparently, it’s been seen on TV, which makes me unsure it’ll last all too long, but hey. It fits the bill for what I need. And it’s a blender, too! The blender I had was pretty awful, so I killed two birds with one stone on this one. Which is a shame because I like birds.

But what in the hay am I makin'?

Ohh, just a lil’ comethin’ somethin’ that required chickpea flour. I had no chickpea flour. I did have chickpeas. I made a quasi-flour. I do what I do.

The girl's gone mad!

oh yeah, baby! Wafflin’ it up. Should we take bets on how long it is until I use both of these appliances next, now that I’ve made my longed for fawaffle? Hopefully not just a phase.

I pretty much  just threw everything even vaguely reminiscent of falafel into this and prayed to the waffle gods. Surprisingly, it worked! I thought for sure it’d be a relative fail. Unfortunately, however, I wasn’t really in the mood for falafel – but of course, I had it in my mind, had chickpeas I needed to use, and have been eyeballing fawaffle for months. So, I still had it. I can’t wait to make it when I’m craving falafel! haha.

Although that pickle may have killed my taste buds.

Dessert of puffins, scone, currants, maple AB and granola. Although, in the time it’s taken me to write this post, I’ve already consumed a kiwi-yogurt-and granola parfait. It’s been a couple hours, what can I say?

What is everyone’s favorite kitchen gadget?

and I’ll be picking (randomizing?) a giveaway winner tomorrow – so make sure you’ve taken advantage of the chance to enter up to three times! I’ll probably do it around the time of my usual posting – so early evening-ish 🙂

Hope everyone has a great night!

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Sun Therapy

It’s hard to be in a bad mood when the sun is shining as brightly as it was today – who’s with me?! I’m pretty sure I’ve said it before, but my mood is definitely directly related to the weather. When it’s gloomy, rainy, and cold, I’m gloomy too. Sure, I won’t let it put me in a grouchy mood, per se – but I will be pretty quiet.

Today, on the other hand, was stellar. It was so sunny (though I won’t lie – pretty chilly!) and I think my boss and I were both feeling it. It was a great atmosphere at work. But enough talking about how my day went without even talking about breakfast!

The guest speaker of the morning.

Remember way back when I picked up two Justin’s nut butter samples? I still hadn’t tried either of them!

But due for this morning was a simple old favorite : apple-cinnamon oats and I thought this was the perfect time to try out the Maple Almond Butter. I may be a coconut fiend, but I do draw the line somewhere.

It was okay – definitely not bad by any means, but I was expecting wow maple. And this was shy maple. More of a meek “hello.” This could just be my taste buds because I’m pretty…uh…liberal…with my maple consumption. Either way – it’s a good nut butter and you certainly can’t argue with the ingredients. Just don’t expect knock-your-socks-off mapley-ness like I was 😛 I’m looking forward to trying the honey peanut butter that I picked up along with this, especially with my recent honey obsession.

In the Mix this morning was oat bran, rolled barley flakes, rolled spelt flakes & wheat bran, brewed coffee & almondmilk, goji berries, 1/2 diced apple, cinnamon, and nutmeg.

On the top was chia-acai icing, ground flax, crystallized ginger, blueberry-cherry preserves, and 1/2 diced apple, sauteed with maple syrup, cinnamon, raisins, and a splash of water.

Sauteeing is the new thang. Aaaaand ya can’t forget about the Golden French Toast that accompanied this oh-so-perfectly.

snackage for the workday

Orange & carrot; Nut Clusters, Sesame Rice Crackers & Wasa

lunchski.

Leftovers from last night and a lil’ panini-pita with shrimp, spinach, parmesan, ranch & dijonnaise, and sundried tomatoes. This definitely kept me full all afternoon! Must have been all the protein. I usually go for a bar around 4ish, but there wasn’t any need for one today.

Before I left the house, I tried another new nut butter!

This Wilderness Poets Hempspread is the last part of my Live Superfoods order. I was way too interested in it when the order got here that I gave it a little taste then, but not enough to get the true “feel” for it. And since I’ve been going for coconut butters or sweet nut butters since then, it sort of fell to the wayside!

I was pretty intrigued when I found it on the website – I had so many sweet nut butters, but this one seemed like it was more savory. The brand also has sweet flavors, and I almost went for one of those, but then decided I wanted to mix it up. Sesame-pistachio? I’d never even thought of the combination – had to give it a shot, right?

And I’m so glad I did! It’s definitely way better than I was expecting. Obviously – I wasn’t expecting anything bad (I mean, I did buy it, after all) but I wasn’t sure if it’d be too raw tasting like my first almond butter experience. (For those unsure of my first almond butter experience – I bought a completely all-natural, unsalted one. While it wasn’t bad, it wasn’t all too enjoyable plain or on toast, and was sort of designated for oats, until I made Almond Butter Cookies)

after stir-age

I opted to give it its’ proper introduction into my life on an english muffin for my drive into work. I almost added a drizzle of maple syrup (hey – doesn’t that sound like it’d be interesting? Sesame-Pistachio-Maple? Anybody?) but then reminded myself to stop already with the adding everything to everything and just let the Hempspread do the talkin’. And I’m glad I did. It sang!

The Agave gives it the perfect amount of sweetness, so that it’s not so raw like, but it’s not sweet, either. Definitely a good mix-up from the usual! I wasn’t feeling a sweet nut butter, and for some reason didn’t want jam either. This was perfect!

Am I the only Hempspread n00b? If you’ve had it before – what’s your favorite?

Now I’m dying to try the rest of the Wilderness Poets line. Chocolate Cashew? And especially Hazelnut – I’d love to try a Hazelnut butter 🙂

Like I mentioned – work today was really great. In fact, I’ve been in a pretty great mood all day. I love it! I love just pausing and doing a “self-check” and realizing you’re perfectly content. Does anyone else do that, or am I the only weird one? Checking-in with yourself, I mean. I dunno. haha. Anyways. I bought my birthday present from my mom – a new SB600 flash, my birthday present from myself – a spare battery for my D90, and work gave me a TTL cable – which allows me to use the flash off-camera. Super excited – I cannot wait to play! I may be buying myself another birthday present – a tripod – in the near future. You read that right – I still don’t have a tripod. Ah, well.

Reunited with my sweet potato love.

Dinner may not look appetizing, but it definitely hit the spot! Remember this Pumpkin-Honey Chicken Curry that I made a while ago and loved so much? Tonights dinner was loosely based on that. Only…uh…different.

While the sweet potato baked, I simmered chick peas, parsley, onion, and kale in a mixture of honey, almondmilk, and curry powder. Shortly before it was ready, I added in some diced apple so that it didn’t get too mushy. The only thing I’d do differently next time would be the Kale…not sure what I would replace it with, but I could have taken it or left it for this dish. I think part of it is that I prefer my kale as kale chips – and the other part that it simply just didn’t lend itself to curry. I still don’t really know what to do with kale other than make Kale chips, to be perfectly honest. Just use it like spinach?

Other than that, I loved the chick pea-apple-sweet potato paired together, and the honey-curry really completed it. Yum! I love adding apples to dinner 😛 I’m wondering if maybe baby peas would be good in this? Or carrots, but I’m afraid they’d be too similar to the sweet potato. I dunno. Any thoughts?

This is an exciting weekend – it’s Vermont’s tax free Saturday! So I’m going to Bed, Bath & Beyond and hittin’ up the mall. Is it sad that I’m way more excited to go BB&B shopping than clothing shopping? After all of yesterday’s waffling I realized I could really use a waffle maker! It’s been too long since I’ve had a good waffle.

I also have a 20% off coupon…should I get a waffle maker? a food processor? cookbooks? kitchen gadgets? more bowls, plates, and mugs? Oh, the possibilities! I am sure to get lost for an hour or so. I am not a real college student.

And on Sunday night I’m making my birthday dinner! I should clarify that I want to make my own birthday dinner – my mom isn’t making me, haha. But I have no idea what to make!! Help?!?! While I could use this as a great way to get my mom, Henry, and my sister who’s coming down to eat whatever I want them to – I think I’ll play nice 🙂 Maybe a Margherita Pizza? I’ve never had one before! And they’ve been popping up everywhere and really tickling my fancy. That and, I hardly ever get the chance to make a real pizza – and have been dying to try out a Bob’s Red Mill pizza crust recipe. Or I could do Blueberry Salmon…Chutney Chicken One-PotHoney-Rosemary ChickenMushroom Stroganoff? I’m almost tempted to make pancakes. I think I might need to have a Birthday breakfast, too! haha. (*cough*or, maybe I’ll have a waffle maker by then*cough*)

Oh, the dilemmas 🙂 I’m leaning towards the pizza, though.

Do you have a traditional “birthday celebration” meal, or one you always request when you have a special occassion?

and what should I make on Sunday?! haha.

The real reason I want a waffle maker? Fawaffle.

Have a great night, everyone 🙂

p.s. Don’t forget!! Only two more days before a winner is won for my giveaway!

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Filed under apple, beans, breakfast, cooking, dinner, foodblog, health, health food, healthy living, lunch, oatmeal, recipe

Waffle With Me

Has everyone seen or heard the new Dunkin’ Donuts commercials advertising their waffle sandwich? I swear I hear it every ten minutes – but tt makes me laugh every time. Why? Because, well…I waffle on a daily basis. I even use the term waffle. So when I heard waffle all over the radio I felt a little cheated. Here is a days worth of waffles for you.

Fortunately, this mornings breakfast was almost waffle free due to this cool chica’s mention of carrot cake ice cream. I read this comment at 1 am during my nightly “I need to stop drinking so much water” moment – and immediately realized it’s been far too long since I’ve had carrot cake oats. You’d better believe I had difficulties falling asleep when I could hardly wait for morning. Just the thought made me have a nightly rendezvous with the kitchen involving nuked puffins. Luckily, morning finally came.

I love you, carrot cake oats. And this bowl was especially stellar, for what reason I am unsure. Possibly because this was the first time I’d had it with oat bran? Possibly. It was much fluffier than usual. Or maybe I just forgot how fluffy bananas make oats?

I suppose one of my breakfast waffles occurred just moments ago, trying to narrow down my breakfast photos. Apparently, I went a little overboard this morning. I was enamored.

In the Mix was oat bran, spelt flakes, barley & wheat bran, brewed coffee & almondmilk, ~1/4 sliced banana, vanilla, goji berries, pineapple, 1/2 carrot, grated, ground clove, nutmeg, ginger, and cinnamon

On the Top was chia-acai icing, flax, crystallized ginger, a chopped walnut or two, strawberry-pom jam, coconut butter, and 1/2 grated carrot sauteed with maple syrup, coconut, raisins, pineapple, cinnamon, and a splash of water.

The waffle appeared when it was time to chose coffee. I think my problem is that I give myself too many choices. So many nut butters, so many jams, so many veggies, so many fruits, so many breads. Hey, variety is the spice of life, right? As long as I’m not wasting anything, I’m content.

Rain Forest Nut eventually won over, and I waffled about what I wanted to make for my birthday dinner while enjoying a cup of that and my cake. I love waking up early.

Next waffle: hurr. I’ve been having major hair dilemmas. I really need to cut it. But I don’t like paying someone $20 to take half an inch off my hair. That can be spent on fun food finds or new bowls, you know.

the usual, except usually I pouf it more. It's growing old.

reunited with my hair straightener: still pouffed on top.

the new? or too susie home-maker?

After all this waffling, it was time to pack the lunch-age and head to class. First, I waffled as to what I wanted for my drive in snackage. The rest of the nanner had apparently been eaten by a Henry-monster, so banana was out of the question. English muffin, or nuked Puffins?

puffins-1. english muffin-0

If you haven’t done this yet, you should do it now. 1/2c. original puffins, 1/4 c. almondmilk, drizzle honey-apple butter, and cinnamon. Nuke for 30 seconds. Enjoy. Yum.

Next up? Yogi Moroccan Spice – for the words of wisdom – or Sugar Cookie Sleigh Ride – for the pure bliss?

sugar cookie sleigh ride - with almondmilk, vanilla, and honey.

I have a rapidly growing honey obsession.

Driving in to class I encountered a major waffle. Did I really want to waste this beautiful morning by going to class? I won’t say which waffle I toasted, but I will say sometimes…ya just gotta appreciate the beauty around you.

And right on time, hunger came knocking, and I gladly answered. There was no waffling here:

Rite Aid parking lot.

Nature valley Nut Clusters – I make sure I ration these out, or I’ll just nom down the whole bag. So good. These were the peanut ones. I’m tempted to try making something similar myself.

I just realized I ate a lot in my car today.

And sesame rice crisps. Fueling before my second class & a quick Rite Aid pit-stop. This was a good snack – the clusters held me over quite nicely!

After my second class I participated in a grueling workout that involved a pretty drastic makeover. Are you ready for this?

Gertrude. Don't think she stayed that clean for more than ten minutes.

This messed up my hair, made me freeze, and made me more than ready for lunch.

There was slight waffling involved in lunch: I was homeless! My mom was MIA and I didn’t feel like eating by myself at a random location on campus. Everyone has classes when I don’t, and vice versa 😦 I finally decided on just going to the welcome center because I was going to need to buy some hot water or coffee, anyways. I wanted to go to the lake lookout – but didn’t think I’d have time to do that and get tea/coffee.

lunch was packed last night, as usual.

Turkey Meatball pita-panini w/ ranch, dijonnaise, sundried tomatoes, red pepper, red onion, spinach, and a pickle. Oh and parmesan, of course!

And I'll never turn down a naranja.

Deee-vine. Loved the homemade ranch-dijonnaise combo. And the pickle. Oh, dill pickles. You make sandwiches complete.

Did I want a bar, too?

I ended up passing – I was quite content – but decided to take Clif with me, for his whole grains and vitamins – to my Photo class. I definitely made everyone jealous. If you’ve had a Blueberry Z Bar before, you know how deliciously blueberry – y they smell!

I munched half in class, and half driving home so I didn’t eat the kitchen once I got there. There was much waffling about exposures, negatives, and chemicals while in photo – but I won’t bore you. There was also much stress/frustration. Everyone kept asking me all these questions about what to do, how to do it, what to mix, etc. I get really stressed out when I’m asked too many questions about stuff like that when I’m trying to do it, too. I’m trying to get stuff done, too – and I probably only know as much as you! I know that sounds awful, but it’s just part of me. I could never be a teacher. The worse part is – I’ll even get frustrated if it’s even people I know really well.

I had already had a general idea for dinner planned, but I waffled the entire way home as to specifics. I’ll reveal the final product, first.

Bulgur-Chickpea Casserole

Did I want chickpeas, turkey meatballs, or shrimp? Chickpeas. Did I want sweets-meets-savory by including an apple? No. But next time for sure! Did I want to make it all neat and layered only for it to be messed up upon serving, anyway? Sure.

Classic Jess fashion.

Did I want to use nutritional yeast, feta, or parmesan in the veggie layer? Nutritional yeast. Parm on Top!

This was good! Chickpeas were the right waffle. Next time I’d love to try it with some chopped apple and sweet potato!

Dessert was waffle free:

you betcha!

Told you so: new obsession/old obsession meet.

I guess you could say I tend to get stuck in food ruts. I’ve actually been flipping through Clean Eating mags at breakfast and re-discovering some great recipes that I saw and wanted to try – but didn’t make note of…and completely forgot! I’ve been feeling rather uncreative, so these are definitely helping and I’m brewing some good ideas. I still openly admit to finding one snack and latching on to it, however. Oh, well, I guess.

I hope everyone toasted lots of waffles today – decisions are good! Do you like to have decisions, or have things laid out for you? When you do have decisions – are you indecisive, or black and white?

Do you pack your own snacks when you know you’ll be out and about, or just hope you’ll find something?

And lastly – do you tend to get stuck in “food ruts” ever?

I hope everyone has a great night – just think, tomorrow’s friday already!

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Beans, Beans, Beans…

Is everybody’s Saturday turning out to be a good one? I hope so – I feel like mine was pretty productive!
Started out with a relatively simple bowl of pumpkin hot cereal:
I felt it was time to go back to basics again 🙂
Today incorporated pumpkin puree and a couple slices banana while cooking, and topped with some pumpkin chia-seed yogurt pudding for topping, as well as some toasted coconut, toasted walnuts, raisins, banana, wheat germ, raspberry preserves, and almond butter
Delicious no matter whether simple or complex!
The morning was then spent getting some groceries with mi madre and then I went into town to clean the office and finish my valentine’s day shopping. We’re not big Valentine’s Day people obviously, but we usually tend to get each other random cutesy nick-nacks. I was back by noon (I love waking up early and getting the “grunt work” over with before it’s even the afternoon!) and opted for a small snack incorporating this beautiful creation:
Ahmahgaw. Sooooo good. I received my Naturally Nutty order yesterday, but didn’t try any then, and nor did I have it with my breakfast this morning – will power, I tell ya! But when I got home I needed a snack (I like eating lunch later) so opted for an orange and had just half a Joseph’s Flax Pita left after last night’s dinner. So I made a quick little PB&J panini! White Choco Coconut + Pomegranate-Cherry Jam + Soft Flax Pita + Panini Press = Heaven. This isn’t Jess talking right now, it’s her spirit. The end.
Have you tried any of the Naturally Nutty line? What’s your favorite?
I also got two other flavors – but you’ll have to wait and find out what they are 🙂
After getting some schoolwork done for an hour or two, I was ready for lunch.
After last night’s Garlicky Butter Beans & Scallops with Bacon, I had a big spoonful or two left-over that I added to. Normally if there’s such a small amount left I don’t bother saving it (It’s just a tease!) but I knew I’d be using more of the beans for a wrap for lunch today (whole can open!) and thought I could just add more beans and veggies to the already-deliciously flavored mixture. Worked great! I just heated last night’s mixture up in a pan, added some more butter beans, dijon and garlic, and spooned that over a pita that had some romaine and red onion. Tri-Fold and Press!


Delish. Other snackins included this Luna Cookie:
It was on clearance for 90 cents at P-Chop. Couldn’t resist.
The verdict? It’s basically a brownie Clif Z-Bar but with peppermint icing! I definitely think it’s the same recipe, haha. Which, since as you all know, isn’t a bad thing because I love Z-Bars. But I was definitely expecting something more like a cookie! The peppermint icing made it not too chocolate-y though, which was my only issue with the Choco Brownie Z-Bar. I heart chocolate peppermint.
I have made so much progress organizing my recipes! I am finally getting things out of my over-crowded bookmarks online, and organizing and printing from Word. I feel like my web-based collection is too small now,though! Gotta start bookmarking again.
Dinner tonight was…you guessed it…more butter beans! I actually don’t think I’d ever used butter beans much prior to last night, but they may very well be one of my new favorite beans. Of course, since I love all beans I don’t know how valid that statement is. I opted for a Butter Bean Curry with Homemade Naan!


Okay, so my Naan is nowhere near as gorgeous as Jen’s is, but I tried! I’d never made Naan before, and I was terrified after having a failed Roti attempt not too long ago. I wasn’t sure how thin to roll them out, and I am pretty sure I went a bit too thin, but it actually came out really delicious! I’d type out the recipe, but I want you to go read it on this amazing blog instead! Jen has so many amazing recipes, and she’s not lying when she calls it “Ridiculously Easy Naan.” A few notes, however: I halved the recipe, used 1 c. bread flour and 1 c. whole wheat flour, used garlic salt with parsley in place of the salt, used half almond milk and half water, and used olive oil rather than canola. Mmmm!
The bean curry was helped along by the Good Housekeeping Coconut-Chile Curry Sauce that I’ve mentioned on here previously. I sauteed butter beans, carrot slices, red pepper, diced plum tomato, and onion in minced garlic, added 1 T. of the Curry sauce, and seasoned with ginger, curry powder, cumin, and pepper. When it was all done, I topped with some shredded coconut (key!!) and had a side of sugar snap peas, as well. The craving for them hit – I used to have them on a daily basis, ya know!


A simple, easy dinner…but definitely hit the spot. The curry was perfect scooped up by the Naan! You really must make it. If I can, I’m pretty sure anybody can. 

I’ll leave you on this note:


I’ve got some Moguls and speed skating to watch!
Night everyone 🙂

What’s your favorite Indian dish?

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Filed under beans, breakfast, curry, dinner, foodblog, health food, healthy living, indian, naan, oatmeal, pumpkin, recipe, thai, wrap